Fall is here and so is our new slate of Humanist Grant beneficiaries!
We are thrilled to announce four new organizations that we will be supporting in Q4 and are looking forward to our partnership with each of them.
Poverty and Health: Wholesome Wave's mission is to empower under-served consumers in the United States to make healthier food choices by increasing access to fresh, local food. They make fruits and vegetables affordable by doubling the value of food stamps when spent on fruits and vegetables, working with doctors to literally prescribe produce, and decreasing food waste while increasing access to fresh produce.
Their program which doubles the value of food stamps has made an additional $10.6 million in purchases of fruits and vegetables available. Of the participants in their produce prescription program 69% eat more produce and 47% decrease their BMI. In Appalachia, Wholesome Wave is in a partnership to reduce food waste and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables by selling cosmetically imperfect fruits and vegetables at a discounted price.
One Maine farmer said, “We hear so much appreciation and see very concrete results–children eating more vegetables–because of this program.”
By creating access to fresh produce, Wholesome Wave helps improve the health of low-income individuals and families. Their work has created long-term improvement for public health, local economies, and the environment.
Natural World: Global Green USA’s mission is to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future in order to help people, places, and the planet. They are focused on solutions that address both environmental protection and sustainable communities. Their goal is to build green cities with affordable housing and schools that protect environmental health and the planet’s natural systems.
Global Green USA partners with public agencies, communities, and other nonprofits to create replicable policies and procedures that have sustainability at their core. Their programs also include supporting disaster recovery by providing guidance for sustainable rebuilding. In New York and New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy, they created neighborhood resilience hubs by installing grid-tied back-up solar systems. In New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, they are helping rebuild with a with a model sustainable village in the Lower Ninth Ward. In Ventura County, CA Global Green USA is helping residents rebuild from the Thomas Fire with free, one-on-one green rebuilding technical assistance.
Global Green USA works to address climate change and create resilient, sustainable communities–recognizing the importance of both.
Education: In Nepal, Diyalo Foundation, is working to create earthquake resistant schools with culturally responsible curriculums. They believe every community should be able to control their destiny. In these same communities, they complement their work in education with agricultural initiatives and energy programs. All of their work is done with the common goal of sustainable, community-led development.
More than half of Nepalese children do not reach high school. The goal of Diyalo Foundation schools is quality education for every child through grade 8 ensuring they can read, write, and count; self-sustaining rural education; and proper school infrastructure. Their approach is holistic and facilitates the emotional, social, and academic development of the students. Each school includes an agri-garden where science, math, and local horticulture lessons can be taken outside. All the schools are powered by sustainable clean energy, which guarantees the students have unhindered classroom time. Everyone in the community has access to phone charging stations at the schools.
Following a parent education session, one parent said, “When I was young, I was not allowed to go to school. One day, when my parents were out in the field, I snuck into school and sat in a class. When I went home, my dad hit me badly. Seeing all that is going into the education of my two daughters makes me so happy and so grateful.”
The Diyalo Foundation’s approach to education in Nepal is bottom-up, community-led, culturally-responsible, and provides community access to sustainable energy.
Human Rights: A nonprofit online news outlet focused exclusively on researching and reporting gun violence, The Trace incorporates possible solutions to the gun violence epidemic into their reporting. They believe that the gun violence problem is exacerbated by lack of knowledge.
They divide this lack of knowledge into four elements:
US residents lack awareness of how many lives are lost by firearms
the national conversation is missing the big picture–headlines are focused on mass shootings, but they only comprise 2% of gun deaths
gun violence data and records do not exist or are not public
the NRA operates in secrecy, distributes misinformation, and has increasing political influence
The Trace is remedying this lack of knowledge and understanding by clarifying the problem. For example, they have created an interactive map with every incidence of gun violence in the US. They also direct attention to the communities most affected by gun violence, which are largely communities that are marginalized in other ways as well. Far more people are killed with handguns than assault-style rifles, while everyday gun violence hits marginalized populations the hardest. Nearly half of gun homicide victims are young black men. American women make up nearly 90 percent of the female gun violence victims recorded by all wealthy nations.
The Trace explores gun myths and assumptions to see if they are valid, and offers possible solutions to mitigate gun violence. They investigated whether the rise of fear-based gun ownership correlated to high gun theft and the use of stolen guns in crimes. An important part of their work is reporting on how the NRA uses its weight and influence to squash legislation, paired with stories that help readers know what to do about it. The Trace is transparent about where their funding comes from and maintains a firewall between their funding and reporting.
We have a gun violence problem in the US made worse by lack of understanding the problem. The Trace’s mission to examine gun violence in the United States and to create, distribute, and interpret that data is part of the solution.
Note: Our Q4 2018 grant to the Trace is restricted to gun violence research only.
Our beneficiaries this quarter saw problems in their communities and came up with innovative and holistic solutions to those problems. Wholesome Wave saw low-income communities in the United States without reliable access to fresh produce and related poor health in those communities. Their programs create access to fresh fruit vegetables while supporting farmers and reducing food waste. Global Green USA saw climate change affecting their country and their planet and saw an opportunity in low-income and disaster devastated communities to build and rebuild resilient and sustainable communities.
Diyalo Foundation saw Nepalese communities devastated by earthquakes and a broken education system and found local community partners to work with to build earthquake resistant schools with sustainable electricity and culturally responsible curriculum. The Trace saw the gun violence crisis in the United States and the widespread misunderstanding of the factors involved. To counter this ignorance, The Trace creates, gathers, and evaluates data to report on the factors contributing to the gun violence epidemic we face.
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